French Riviera to Venice: Day 10 & 11 Topdeck Mega European Tour


Italy / Topdeck Mega European

This morning we continue on our Topdeck Mega European Tour as we leave the costal city of Nice and France until we once again enter the country to make our way back to London at the end of the tour. We are heading further east today crossing the border into Italy with our destination being the canal loving city of Venice for the next two nights. Before we arrive at our destination of Venice we will stop at the small Italian city of Verona made famous by the love story Romeo and Juliette, and also check out a smaller version of the Colosseum.

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10 MAY, 2012 – Nice to Venice

Once again a phrase you will hear quite a lot, it was another bright and early morning for our departure from Nice as we hop on the coach and head towards Venice. In the morning sometimes when a large group like us is debating it can be quite awkward as there is nowhere to park the bus in such narrow streets causing quite a bit of inconvenience to the locals as we block the footpath with all of our baggage. This morning we got quite a few angry looks directed at us but there wasn’t much more we could do, or it could have just come down to them being French and they would have looked at us that way regardless.

Today is quite a long day on the coach as Venice is located on the easterly side of the Italian coast, so we basically have to travel the entire width of the country to reach our destination. We are not going directly to Venice today as we are making a short stop at the UNESCO World Heritage listed city of Verona.

Verona has its own colosseum called the Verona Arena that looks in better condition on the exterior than its more famous Roman counterpart in the centre of Rome. The Arena is still used to this day for open air concerts and events, however Verona is more famous as the setting for the love story Romeo and Juliette. While here you can check out the balcony of Juliette’s house down a small alleyway along with a statue of Juliette in the courtyard. We didn’t spend too long here in Verona as we still had a fair way to travel but we had just enough time to grab snack to eat before continuing on the journey.

After looking around Verona it was time to continue onto Venice, today we won’t actually get to see any of the Venetian city as our accommodation is on the outskirts and we will need to be ferried on the coach to the outside of the city tomorrow to see it. Our accommodation for the next two nights is a camping ground called Jolly Camping Village in twin share cabins right by the swimming pool, a popular place for other tour groups to arrive such as Busabout and Contiki also. Camping grounds in Europe are very different to how we know them in Australia, this has a large swimming pool, spa, its own supermarket, restaurant and bar so in a way it was kind of like staying at a mini resort.

11 MAY, 2012 – Venice

This morning we are heading off to explore Venice, we all get on board the coach and were taken to the outside of the city where we were dropped off and had to catch the “people mover” across one of the canals as they do not allow busses into the city itself. There was also another two Topdeck groups staying here at the same time, so everything was coordinated for the pick up later in the day that anyone from those three groups could be picked up at the same time later on.

Venice is a complex place to navigate, our tour leader showed us around some of the alley ways and pointed out features so we would find it easy to find our way back to the people mover at the end of the day. This didn’t really help at all, most people still ended up getting lost including the small group of people I spent the day with. We eventually found our way back after discovering we were on the opposite side of the city and getting some locals to help us navigate using our Topdeck map provided.

Before being left on our for the rest of the day we visited a traditional Venetian lace maker near St Mark’s Square where they demonstrated the different types of lace used and the methods used to create different patterns and styles which was quite interesting. They then of course try and sell you some lace, but I have so much lace at home already that I use everyday so I thought I would pass on this golden opportunity.

After this one of our Topdeck optional extras was to take a gondola ride down the canal that lasted for about 20 minutes. It was a really good experience and one of the reasons you come to Venice made all the more fun as at one point it was quite funny when two of our gondolas tried to go down a narrow canal at the same time and got stuck.

During our visit to Venice we saw St Mark’s Square and the surrounding area, not as many pigeons inhabit the square anymore as they desperately try to get rid of them altogether. While in Venice it was the goal of many to buy a masquerade mask as a party was being held tonight back at our camp site with this being the theme.

Eventually we found our way out of the canal locked city, it’s very easy to get lost in all those alley ways. We caught the people mover back to where the coach was waiting for us at our designated pickup time. Tonight was a masquerade party by the pool (we might have ended up being kicked out for being too rowdy) and tomorrow the tour continues onto Florence.

DOWNLOAD: Topdeck Venice City Guide

NEXT: Venice to Florence: Day 12 & 13 Topdeck Mega European Tour

PREVIOUS: Barcelona to French Riviera: Day 08 & 09 Topdeck Mega European Tour


Just your average guy doing his 9 – 5 job as a Senior Payroll Officer by day, writing about his travel adventures and hopefully giving you inspiration and ideas for your next travel adventure here at loneXplorer…

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